US Senate races

Woo-hoo. Look at this:[quote=“FiveThirtyEight”]The Democrats appear to have nearly as much momentum in the race for Capitol Hill as they do for the White House, and now have approximately a 3 in 10 chance of winding up with a 60-seat working majority in the Senate.
[…]
The Democrats are now favored to take over eight seats from the Republicans: Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Minnesota. If the Democrats win all eight of those races, they will only need one more to achieve 60 seats, and they have good opportunities in Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky.

The good news for the Republicans is that they have the financial advantage in most of these races, as the Democratic rank-and-file scrambles to put together a budget for candidates like Jim Martin in Georgia. But, all the money in the world won’t help you if you don’t have an attractive message to sell, and right now the Republicans’ pleas for mercy are falling on deaf ears.
[/quote]Imagine that: the Dems take the White House, get a fillabuster-proof majority in the Senate, and increase its hold on the House. For practical purposes, I’d almost rather they got 59 seats in the Senate: just so they could tell Joe to take a long walk off of a short plank. That, and to keep them from letting it go to their heads, the way ‘Republican majority for a generation’ Rove & Co. did.

[quote=“Jaboney”]Woo-hoo. Look at this:[quote=“FiveThirtyEight”]The Democrats appear to have nearly as much momentum in the race for Capitol Hill as they do for the White House, and now have approximately a 3 in 10 chance of winding up with a 60-seat working majority in the Senate.
[…]
The Democrats are now favored to take over eight seats from the Republicans: Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Colorado, Alaska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Minnesota. If the Democrats win all eight of those races, they will only need one more to achieve 60 seats, and they have good opportunities in Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky.

The good news for the Republicans is that they have the financial advantage in most of these races, as the Democratic rank-and-file scrambles to put together a budget for candidates like Jim Martin in Georgia. But, all the money in the world won’t help you if you don’t have an attractive message to sell, and right now the Republicans’ pleas for mercy are falling on deaf ears.
[/quote]Imagine that: the Dems take the White House, get a fillabuster-proof majority in the Senate, and increase its hold on the House. For practical purposes, I’d almost rather they got 59 seats in the Senate: just so they could tell Joe to take a long walk off of a short plank. That, and to keep them from letting it go to their heads, the way ‘Republican majority for a generation’ Rove & Co. did.[/quote]

Hopefully, even if McCain wins, such a strongly Dem Senate will prevent right-wing Supreme Court justices from taking the bench.

Alaska Senator and longest-serving GOP member Ted Stevens convicted on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents. And only eight days before the election.

Yesterday the Dems had a 30% chance of reaching a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority. Things look a whole lot better today.

Stevens says he’s going to keep campaigning. If he wins, will he have to operate out of a jail cell?

Another Senate race I’m interested in is Al Franken in MN: I would love to see him win.

Is that 30% number from 538, Jaboney? I thought 538 already had Stevens losing in Alaska, no? I guess if he goes from “probably going to lose” to “almost certainly going to lose” then that would get factored into their total 60 seat number though.

Oh well, it’s all pretty depressing from my point of view. If someone had told me even a year ago that the next president would have a filibuster-proof senate I would have told the guy to go peddle his ridiculous horror-show stories somewhere else. And now this nightmare scenario is a real possibility. shudder

Even if they don’t get to 60, Obama is going to have his work cut out for him.

Yep, that’s from 538.

Stevens was counted as a (slightly) probably Democratic win, but I expect that such a high profile conviction, so soon before the election, is going to have spill over effects tarnishing an already sullied brand.

[quote=“Chris”]Stevens says he’s going to keep campaigning. If he wins, will he have to operate out of a jail cell?

Another Senate race I’m interested in is Al Franken in MN: I would love to see him win.[/quote]

Well, it’s not like Democratic insiders have never disgraced themselves at the end of their lives, right? Does the name Clark Clifford ring a bell? Probably not. :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Clifford

One Senate race of my particular interest is Al Franken in Minnesota. He has an ever-so-slight lead over his GOP opponent, but the race is made more uncertain by a third-party candidate running.

[quote=“Jaboney”]Alaska Senator and longest-serving GOP member Ted Stevens convicted on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents. And only eight days before the election.

Yesterday the Dems had a 30% chance of reaching a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority. Things look a whole lot better today.[/quote]

Stevens is leading right now. 48 to 47%. Since he won’t be seated, who will take his place? CNN says the governor (Palin) can legally choose a replacement. Will she choose herself?

According to the CNN website, they are dead even right now. 99% of the precincts reporting and its:
® Coleman: 1,210,595. (42%)
(D) Franken: 1,209,919. (42%)
(I) Barkley : 437,064. (15%)

They haven’t called Georgia yet which is surprising. Tallying up the votes has Chambliss ahead by 17k votes even if you give Martin all of Buckley’s votes, There are 99% of the precincts reporting and it stands as follows:

® Chambliss: 1,768,378 (50%)
(D) Martin: 1,629,867 (46%)
(L) Buckley: 120,840 (4%)

Oregon is in a dead heat also. 74% reported and the vote is:
® Smith: 508,194 (48%)
(D) Merkley: 498, 303 (47%)

Does that mean there will be possibly three run-off elections in the coming weeks? Anyone know more to why they haven’t called the Georgia Senate election yet?

In Georgia, to win one candidate needs to clear 50% of the total votes casts. Fall short, and there’s a run-off.
Looks like it may be so close as to require a recount.

Obama was the only African-American senator, right? So does this mean that blacks, who are 13% of the population, are going to have ZERO members in the Senate? What’s wrong with this picture?

Yup.

I wonder who the Illinois governor will appoint to fill Obama’s seat.

Why judge the senate on the fact that the only african-american member is unable to serve due to other commitments?

After all, we should not worry about color anyways, and the senator in question moved onto greater things.

Let us say 13% of the US population is black (it’s around this number). If race were not a factor, and senators were chosen purely at random from the populace, then, using the binomial probability distribution:

where n = 100, p = 0.13.

The odds of having no black senators (k=0) in the Senate is (1-.13)^100 = 0.00008957%, or 1,117,054 to 1.
The odds of having 1 black senator (k=1) is 100 * .13 * .87^99 = 0.0013377%, or 746 to 1.
The expected number of black senators, E(X), is 100 * .13 = 13, with a probability of 11.785%.

So yes, race plays a statistically significant role.

(The situation in the House is better, with around 8% black members at present…none of whom are Republicans.)

[quote=“Chris”]Let us say 13% of the US population is black (it’s around this number). If race were not a factor, and senators were chosen purely at random from the populace, then, using the binomial probability distribution:

where n = 100, p = 0.13.

The odds of having no black senators (k=0) in the Senate is (1-.13)^100 = 0.00008957%, or 1,117,054 to 1.
The odds of having 1 black senator (k=1) is 100 * .13 * .87^99 = 0.0013377%, or 746 to 1.
The expected number of black senators, E(X), is 100 * .13 = 13, with a probability of 11.785%.

So yes, race plays a statistically significant role.[/quote]

Wow let’s ignore the whole education system and the fact most African-Americans communities are low income and their schools are way behind schools the average American attends, we are all born into exactly the same locations attend the same level of school and go into the same colleges according to your math. The fact that our presidents come from places like Yale/Harvard are irrelevant in your equation. You can’t apply statistics that way, you are ignoring every factor but race. Of course your math is going to come out screwed up.

Voting is typically an irrational exercise given the probability of an one vote tipping the scales. But this time… Wow. Looks like every vote does count.

[quote=“fivethirtyeight: Begich Goes Into Lead by Three Votes”]Roughly 15,000 additional votes have come in in Alaska, with more to come, and Democrat Mark Begich has taken a three-vote lead over Republican Ted Stevens, 125019 to 125016.

More to come tonight and in the coming few days to finish off the race, but given where we expect the remaining votes are located, this looks very good for Begich. [/quote]

That’s kinda my point. There is indeed socioeconomic inequality among races, no matter how much those on the right may deny it.

[quote=“Chris”]Let us say 13% of the US population is black (it’s around this number). If race were not a factor, and senators were chosen purely at random from the populace, then, using the binomial probability distribution:

where n = 100, p = 0.13.

The odds of having no black senators (k=0) in the Senate is (1-.13)^100 = 0.00008957%, or 1,117,054 to 1.
The odds of having 1 black senator (k=1) is 100 * .13 * .87^99 = 0.0013377%, or 746 to 1.
The expected number of black senators, E(X), is 100 * .13 = 13, with a probability of 11.785%.

So yes, race plays a statistically significant role.

(The situation in the House is better, with around 8% black members at present…none of whom are Republicans.)[/quote]

You have one small problem with your statistical formula. Your pool is too large. While African Americans may make up 13% of the total population, you forgot that one of basic requirements to hold a Senate seat is that you are at least 30 years old. A senator elected will serve all the constituents regardless of age, but the potential pool of applicants has to be those between the age of 30 and 120. That’s a smaller pool than 13% of the total US population.

Due to the above fact, the binomial probability distribution isn’t the best equation to use. That or you used a wrong value for P. I’m leaning towards the former.

What I found on the Census.gov was a supplement population survey for 2002. It estimates that African American men and women under the age of 18 make up 65.4 percent of the African American population. That means that 34.6% of the African American population is over the age of 18. I couldn’t find any information on how many are above the age of 30 though, so for the sake of argument we’ll use the 34.6%. In reality that number is lower due to the fact that the 18-29 year old age bracket can’t hold office in the Senate.

Now since 34.6% is about 1/3rd your original population size, you have a problem. Your P of .13 for the is over inflated. It should be .043 repeating 3 (using the inclusive group of 18+). If you rerun your equation with the new P= .043, you’ll see that the results changed significantly.

census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p20-541.pdf

But then you’d also have to apply the same reasoning to the non-black population above age 30. Given variables like birth and mortality rates among sub-populations, this would require further refinement, but I don’t think your p=0.043 is realistic. It may be closer to p=0.10.

Of course, I’ve made many assumptions, such as assuming any age-grouped subset of the population would have the same proportions as the overall population.

The model could be further refined by looking at the populations of individual states, and selecting two people at random from each state. Clearly, the proportions would be vastly different in, say, Mississippi than in, say, North Dakota.